On our most recent cruises on Celebrity, we have found the staff and crew to be wonderful, interesting and very professional people. We’ve enjoyed learning about their home countries’ different customs and what life is like for them when they are not working on the ship. Some of these workers have shared plans to start their own business or careers back home with the money and experience they have earned on the ships, while others plan to make their work on the cruise ship their life’s career. My parents recently conveyed a story to me about one such cruise line employee.
On their most recent cruise, Mom and Dad were sharing their memories of the 1980 cruise with one of their bartenders. Enthusiastically, he spoke up and shared that he was working on Statendam back in 1980. Mom and Dad also inquired if he remembered our waiter from that 1980 cruise, Prat. He did indeed know Prat. We remember Prat because he had a very interesting back ground story. (I hope I am recalling this correctly. ) He shared with us that he had twins and the usual custom in Indonesia was that if one had a set of twins, the immediate family only kept one of the babies and gave the other baby away to friend or other family member. However, because of his job as a waiter on a cruise ship he and his wife were able to keep both of the babies. We supposed that it must have been hard to be away from his family so often working on the ship, but we also suspected that he felt the opportunity to earn a better living for his family must have been worth the sacrifice. Some 30 years later, Mom and Dad were curious if he was still with Holland America. The bartender said that he was indeed still with Holland America, working on another ship as part of the state room attendant staff. The bartender explained that over the years, the more demanding work as a waiter became a bit too strenuous and he had decided to move into the house keeping staff. I knew that many workers were especially loyal to the cruise lines, but found it so interesting to hear of this employees over 30 year commitment to Holland America.
I know many of my fellow cruisers have, particular frequent cruisers, have made friendships with their staff and crew. If you have any interesting stories to share we’d love to hear from you. Or if you have worked on a cruise ship and can provide insight into this demanding but presumably rewarding work, please share your stories with us here at Cruise Talk.